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Amid the sound and fury of a tumultuous world….

A family of elk in the Alsea River, near Waldport

Bob and Priscilla Klein near Waldport sent us this photo to remind us that despite what the outside world is doing to itself, or even to us here at home, Mother Nature provides us abundant opportunities to be reminded of the beauty of our little blue dot in the universe and how we, in Oregon, are exceptionally blessed with more opportunities than most.

Senators Wyden and Merkley holding Town Halls next week


Sen. Wyden and Sen. Merkley photos

Those who would like to talk with Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley will have a chance over the next couple of weeks. Senators Wyden and Merkley will visit Tillamook and Lincoln Counties. Here are the meeting days, places and times:

Senator Wyden
Lincoln County
Saturday, Jan. 7 at 5 p.m.
Oregon Coast Aquarium Theater
2820 Southeast Ferry Slip Rd., Newport

Tillamook County
Saturday, Jan. 7 at 1 p.m.
Tillamook County Library
1716 3rd St., Tillamook

Senator Merkley
Lincoln County
Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 5pm
Toledo Fire Hall
285 NE Burgess St., Toledo

Newport: Homeless camp fire on Highway 20 just east of Newport – two burned, one seriously

Provided by Newport Fire Dept.
(No firefighter injuries)

At around 11:40 PM Saturday night Newport Fire Department responded to a report of a tent on fire at a homeless encampment off Highway 20. The first arriving fire engine reported a significant fire about a hundred yards into the woods. After a few minutes it was determined that two persons were in the tent when it caught fire and the two suffered burns, one seriously.

A hose team was advanced to the campsite and extinguished the fire along with several spot fires around the tent. The first injured person was treated on scene by fire personnel, then transported to the Emergency Room by Pacific West Ambulance. He was subsequently airlifted to Emmanuel Hospital in Portland for treatment of his burns. The second person was treated and released on scene by fire personnel, and was housed overnight by a local friend.

The fire was caused by smoking debris within the tent. Newport Fire Department urges everyone to take proper precautions to ensure all smoking materials are fully extinguished and properly discarded. Any questions may be directed to Assistant Chief / Fire Marshal Rob Murphy at 541-265-9461.

Newport Fire Department responded with 2 fire engines, 1 brush rig, 1 command unit and 10 firefighters. Newport Police Department assisted with traffic control, and Pacific West Ambulance provided medical services.

Don’t shoot off flares along the coast – it forces Coast Guard to launch expensive Helo and water craft!


Courtesy photos: Coast Guard, U.S. Army

News Lincoln County received a number of phone calls New Year’s Eve wondering what all the helicopter searching up and down Waldport’s Bayshore Drive was all about. We called the Coast Guard in North Bend and they said they were investigating reports of red flares offshore from the Bayshore area but finding no one in distress. The officer said the flares were possibly launched by people who may have run out of standard fireworks and so turned to shooting off flares.

Those who are shooting off flares along the coast may not realize that by launching those bright glows into the dark night skies, they are forcing the Coast Guard to launch air and water based rescue craft. So stop with the flares unless you’re experiencing a real emergency (and an empty champagne glass doesn’t qualify).

Coast Guard officials at Coast Guard Station North Bend say by law, any flare launched into the air is to be treated as an international call for help and they, by law, must go to the area where the flare was launched and look for anyone in distress. And for each flare launched strictly for fun, it’s another false alarm and another wastefully expensive flight and water mission for the Coast Guard and could cause delays in responding to actual emergencies.

The Coast Guard says they understand that its New Year’s Eve, but please do not fire off flares!

Man near Hood River hit by a train. OSP issues him a ticket.

Paul Loyd

Paul Loyd, a transient known to frequent the Hood River area, was hit by a train Friday afternoon, spinning him around and breaking his arm. When discovered later, he was transported to a local hospital where he received a cast for his arm. Then, an Oregon State Trooper gave him a ticket.

Police records show that Loyd has been in and out of jail in the Hood River area for quite some time and that his minor crimes typically are harassment, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. After being released again from a local jail, authorities say Loyd started walking along the railroad tracks between Hood River and Mosier. The engineer aboard an oncoming train saw Loyd standing on the tracks just ahead of him. The engineer blasted his horn at him but all Loyd did was face the train and lift his shirt revealing the word “Railroad” tatooed on his chest. The engineer blasted his horn again, prompting Loyd to slowly make his way off the tracks. But he wasn’t fast enough and the engine’s boarding ladder caught him on the shoulder, spun him around and broke his arm.


The engineer quickly reported the incident and for the next 90 minutes local law enforcement and fire rescue personnel tried to find Loyd. They couldn’t. A little later a citizen reported seeing a man staggering near the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near Hood River. It was Loyd.

Loyd was transported to a Hood River area hospital for treatment. As Loyd was getting ready to leave the hospital an OSP trooper cited him for First Degree Criminal Trespass and Second Degree Disorderly Conduct for being on the tracks and for being drunk to boot. The trooper said alcohol played a substantial role in the incident.

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